Rev.Gayle Tucker

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I grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, where my parents still live. I have an older sister and a younger brother, who both live in the Carolinas. My family was very involved at First Congregational UCC in Janesville, in music, children and youth ministries, and leadership positions. The church and many of the adults and peers I met at youth events have been and continue to be an extended family for me. Church and youth events had been very important to me as I grew up, but I had not yet realized that I was called to ordained ministry. After graduating from Janesville Craig High School, I attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. While working toward a degree in Music Education I discovered a passion for academic religious studies and eventually added a religion minor to my degree. These courses, along with participation in music organizations at the college and attendance at the local UCC church, were significant in my continuing faith development. Most significant in discovering and discerning my call to ministry, though, was my summers working at Pilgrim Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Each summer while I was in college and for several summers afterward, I worked on counselor rotation (alternating weeks on maintenance and kitchen crew and as a cabin counselor) or as a program director, designing and leading program activities for various camps. This gave me a chance to explore various elements of ministry including, teaching, worship design and leadership, pastoral care, and programs, as well as my own development as an individual and a person of faith. It was at camp that I came out as a lesbian, and as someone called to ministry.